Technologizer posts about LTE

Here’s one nugget for you all to feast on ahead of the announcement. Yesterdays report on Boy Genius Report that the iPhone 5 would be an Sprint exclusive with WiMAX is being panned by the Wall Street Journal: Greg Bensinger reports that the device will neither run on LTE nor WiMAX. I guess we’ll have to wait and find out.

Posted by Ed at 9:56 am

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The iPhone 4 has a “4″ in its name. It’s also the fourth-generation iPhone. But it’s not a 4G phone–which is what a meaningful minority of the people who participated in a Retrevo survey think it is. I wonder if thinking that makes you more impressed with its network speed, or less so?

Posted by Harry at 5:20 pm

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AT&T has announced the first five cities that’ll get its LTE 4G data service. They’re Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta and San Antonio, and the company plans to roll out service this summer, with more cities in the queue for later this year.

Posted by Harry at 9:39 am

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Verizon’s LTE Network Goes Down For The Count

By  |  Posted at 8:37 pm on Wednesday, April 27, 2011

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Your “blazing fast” LTE connection with Verizon seem a whole lot less speedy? There was a reason for it — for an as yet undisclosed reason there was some type of failure that affected connections nationwide. The issues were first reported by Engadget’s Vlad Savov early this morning, and were later confirmed by the company in its official Twitter account.

Specifically, users of the company’s recently released Thunderbolt 4G device seemed to have the most issues. Data connectivity wasn’t completely out: instead the phones were connecting at slower 3G speeds, and voice calls were not affected. The issues mark the first time there has been any serious disruptions with Verizon Wireless’ high-speed network.

The issue appears pretty widespread, and there are a significant amount of tweets complaining about issues, as well as posts from customers nationwide to Verizon’s support forums.

Ina Fried over at All Things Digital mentions the ironic timing of the outage: it came just two days after Verizon vice president Nicola Palmer boasted how smoothly the rollout has gone so far. Oops.



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Report: iPhone 5 “Production Roadmap”‘ Nowhere to Be Found

By  |  Posted at 12:53 pm on Wednesday, April 13, 2011

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DigiTimes says that touch-panel manufacturers have yet to receive a roadmap for production of the next-generation iPhone, giving more credence to increasing reports that the device will not be released this summer as usual.

There’s been a variety of different reasons mentioned as to why Apple is deciding to “delay” the launch of the iPhone 5: whether it be to line up with the holiday shopping season, the (late) launch of the Verizon model, or as DigiTimes claims component shortages and continued high sales of the iPhone 4.

Continue reading this story…



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Verizon’s First LTE Hotspot Goes on Sale

By  |  Posted at 10:06 am on Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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Ready for some 4G hotspot goodness? Verizon has begun selling its Samsung LTE router on its website, available for $99.99 after a $50 online instant rebate and with a two-year service plan. The device is 3G backwards-compatible, so in areas where Verizon’s LTE network is not available yet you’ll still have data access.

Up to five devices can share a connection using the MiFi-like device, and it supports 802.11b,g, and n. It’s also VPN capable.

The unit is not the first to allow the sharing of Verizon LTE data connections via Wi-Fi–that honor goes to the HTC Thunderbolt. However, in order to use the data feature you’re going to need to have a plan that supports it, increasing the monthly cost of ownership.

Of course, the price of admission onto Verizon’s LTE towers isn’t cheap. The Samsung hotspot requires a data plan at $50/mo, which gives you 5GB of bandwidth each month. But if you’re truly using this as a hotspot, that cost spread out over several devices sounds more reasonable.



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Why Wireless Carriers Both Promote and Dread 4G

By  |  Posted at 9:00 am on Wednesday, March 23, 2011

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Here at the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says that with the planned summer launch of HTC’s 3D EVO and 4G EVO tablet, Sprint will have 22 4G devices, more than any of its rivals. Verizon says it will bring its 4G LTE network to 147 markets by year’s end, while AT&T is simultaneously building out its HSPA network while preparing to launch its LTE network later this year.

No question, 4G is the next mobile battleground for what shapes up to be a smaller field of national carriers. But at a day of sessions on the subject (sponsored by Fierce Wireless, which among other things publishes a first-rate daily newsletter on the wireless industry), the dominant theme seemed to be that the carriers may not be ready to deal with the enormous bandwidth demands their fast devices and networks will inevitably produce.

Continue reading this story…



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AT&T-Mobile Is a Win for T-Mobile’s Customers

By  |  Posted at 11:45 pm on Sunday, March 20, 2011

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It seems as if the popular take among tech pundits in light of Sunday’s announcement of the AT&T and T-Mobile merger is that it is a bad situation for everyone involved. Among the reasons I’ve seen so far are a further consolidation of an already top-heavy industry, the threat of rising prices as a result of less alternatives, and a loss of one of Android’s most stalwart partners.

But let’s step back a minute from the insta-reactions of most of the tech world and look at the bottom line: merger or not, T-Mobile’s customers stand to benefit the most by far. The deal is written in such a way that even if regulators scoff at it, T-Mobile will exit in a much stronger position than it is currently in.

Continue reading this story…



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I subscribe to Verizon Wireless’s 3G data service, and never approach my 5GB limit. So I looked at the fact that the company’s new LTE plans are capped as no big deal. But PCMag.com’s Sascha Segan explains why capped LTE is not the same thing as capped 3G.

Posted by Harry at 8:48 am

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Verizon’s 4G Network: The Details

By  |  Posted at 10:37 am on Wednesday, December 1, 2010

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Verizon Wireless officially announced the roll-out plans for its 4G LTE high-speed wireless data network today, and none too soon: The LTE era starts this Sunday in thirty-eight metro areas. All Things Digital’s Ina Fried has more specifics, and Greg Kumparak of MobileCrunch lists the launch cities.

The facts that caught my eye:

  • Verizon is charging $50 a month for 5GB of data, and $80 for 10GB; as a current customer of its 3G data service, that strikes me as a decent deal, since I’m paying $60 for 5GB of pokier 3G service.
  • Two USB modems will be available, for $99 each on contract after rebates; they’ll double as 3G modems when 4G service isn’t around.
  • It sounds like 4G phones won’t show up until mid-2011 (there goes any last remaining possibility of a 4G Verizon iPhone in early 2011).

What I really want is a 4G MiFi mobile router that I can use with a laptop, an iPad, a smartphone, and any other Wi-Fi device; I assume that one is in the works. Hope that it arrives before too long–and that there’s a way for me to upgrade from my 3G MiFi without spending a fortune.



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LTE and the Dawn of Tiered Pricing…Ugh

By  |  Posted at 9:55 am on Thursday, November 18, 2010

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Leave it up to Verizon to be at the forefront of making your wireless data more expensive. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Thursday, Verizon executives said they see the switch to LTE and 4G as a perfect time to introduce speed caps on data services.

This would be similar to what cable and DSL providers have been doing for a long time, although it wasn’t completely clear whether in exchange for these speed caps — and obviously higher prices — would we see the end of caps in bandwidth.

Verizon may be leaning toward making higher bandwidth plans slower and lower bandwidth plans faster, however. “If you want to pay for less speed, you’ll pay for less speed and consume more, or you can pay for high speed and consume less,” chief financial officer Fran Shammo said. CEO Ivan Seidenberg said that unlimted plans will not go away — the company would see what its customers find “fair” and go from there, whatever that means.

Honestly, I find this news troubling — since wireless services are requiring an ever increasing amount of bandwidth and also faster data speeds. What this means is data costs for consumers are likely to skyrocket. I don’t see how this is in any way good for us at all. It more seems as a method to dig deeper into our pockets and leaving us little choice other than to go along with it.

I’m hoping this isn’t a trend in the industry – but knowing the way the carriers operate, it probably will be.



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Sprint + T-Mobile? LTE Holds the Key

By  |  Posted at 4:24 pm on Tuesday, July 13, 2010

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When rumors of Sprint and T-Mobile first cropped up in March 2008 thanks to Merril Lynch analysts, quite a few pundits out there thought it was a perfect idea to get the carrier on equal footing with its much bigger competitors. There’s a huge problem however with this marriage: cellular technology.

In current form, a Sprint and T-Mobile merger would be a hodgepodge. You’d have a CDMA network (Sprint), an iDEN network (Nextel), and a GSM network (T-Mobile). None of these technologies are really compatible, nor is there a phone out there that could successfully jump from one tower and technology to another.

But of all people, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has started the conversation anew. He told the Financial Times Tuesday that a pairing would have some “logic” to it. How? Pretty simple — Sprint could viably build an LTE network to partner with its WiMAX efforts, and T-Mobile is also on the path to the same technology as well.

(It should be mentioned that within say two to three years, the topic of cellular technology is going to be pretty much moot as all the major carriers save Sprint have considerable LTE plans. Benefit to the consumer? You bet. Manufacturers won’t have to worry about producing two versions of the same phone.)

Sprint is serious about its LTE move: it is already seeking bids to deploy the technology over its network. This is not to say it’s forgetting about WiMAX: the way the FT is reporting, it sounds like that’s part of what Sprint is looking for bidders to do.

No matter what the talk is, the only way T-Mobile would be able to effectively compete with either Verizon or AT&T is through a merger. It’s running short of spectrum — always an issue for the nation’s fourth biggest carrier — and coverage still remains spotty even after nearly a decade on US soil.

In one fell swoop, those problems could be alleviated. But the sticking point still remains the technology. No LTE for Sprint will mean no merger, and I think that’s pretty clear.



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Anxious to see AT&T improve its wireless network? The long-term solution won’t involve beefing up the company’s current 3G network–it’ll be nailing LTE, the even-higher-speed 4G wireless technology that’ll eventually replace the current network. AT&T announced today that it’s working with equipment manufacturers Alcatel Lucent and Ericsson to begin tests of LTE later this year, with a full rollout in 2011.

LTE isn’t a magic bullet, but it’s promising and I look forward to its arrival. Even though absolutely none of the phones and wireless adapters we own now will be compatible with it…

Posted by Harry at 12:04 pm

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Department of Misleading Headlines

By  |  Posted at 2:25 pm on Monday, November 30, 2009

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Scott Moritz, at TheStreet.com:

Um, read the story, and you’ll find it presents no evidence that Apple is contemplating a T-Mobile deal. All you get is an analyst speculating that Verizon isn’t going to get the iPhone soon, and speculating that if Apple wants to end AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity it might logically cut a deal with T-Mobile. But it’s all guesswork.

The analyst says that he expects that a Verizon iPhone will appear only in 2011, and that it’ll use a 4G LTE data connection rather than Verizon’s current EVDO network. Sounds logical enough. If you assume that Verizon’s current spree of iPhone bashing means it’s not going to announce an Apple deal immediately, it feels more and more likely that Apple and Verizon will skip the dead-end technology an EVDO iPhone would bring and jump directly to an LTE model. And it’s going to be 2011 before an LTE iPhone makes sense.

Or so I think. I cheerfully concede that I could be wrong. Which is why this post isn’t titled “No Verizon iPhone Until 2011…”



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A Dream Car for Tech Lovers

By  |  Posted at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, November 3, 2009

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Is there any part of our lives that’s more backwards from a digital-technology standpoint than the hours we spend in the second homes known as cars? Interesting exceptions such as Ford Sync aside, automobiles seem to routinely run about half a decade behind the rest of the world when it comes to personal technology. (I felt positively triumphant when I recently installed an adapter that lets me listen to my iPhone in the car–woo hoo!)

So the concept car being announced today by nG Connect–a consortium of companies involved in the next-generation LTE wireless broadband standard–is, indeed, a dream machine.  Designed by LTE infrastructure company Alcatel Lucent, Atlantic Records, infogizmo maker Chumby, kid site Kabillion, real-time operating system developer QNX, and Toyota, the modified Prius sports large multiple Net -connected touchscreens (including separate ones for the driver and front passenger) that deliver information services such as GPS navigation, car diagnostics, and home monitoring; music and movies (not to the driver, I assume!); networked games; shopping, and more.

It’s also a rolling hotspot so you can use laptops and Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones and other wireless gizmos.

When will we be able to park something like this in our own driveways? Well, LTE should start to matter next year. Judging from past history with network rollouts, I’m assuming it’s going to be awhile until it’s available everywhere I want to drive. (I rode in the passenger’s seat down California’s Highway 1 this weekend, and even plain old EVDO often disappeared on me.) I figure it’s also going to be awhile before car companies build even a fraction of this stuff into real vehicles–and once they do, it’ll be awhile longer before it’s priced for mere humans.

All of which is fine by me. I’m nowhere near ready to retire my trusty 2004 Mazda3, so if it’s a few years before this concept car becomes affordable reality, I can wait.

Does it appeal to you?



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LTE vs. WiMAX: The 4G Wireless War

By  |  Posted at 7:46 am on Wednesday, May 20, 2009

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Remember when 3G was the future of wireless data? It’s not even universally available in the U.S. yet, and the race is already well underway to replace it. WiMAX, the 4G network technology that counts Sprint and Intel among its boosters, has a head start. But it’s losing ground to Long Term Evolution (LTE).

LTE’s promise of high-speed, two-way wireless data promises an “all-IP” mode of communications in which voice calls are handled via VoIP. It’s also designed to handle video well, and to permit roaming through multiple systems–from cellular to Wi-Fi and satellite.

LTE is considered by many to be the obvious successor to current-generation 3G technologies, based on WCDMA, HSDPA, HSUPA and HSPA, in part because it updates UMTS technology to provide significantly faster data rates for both uploading and downloading, while preserving backwards compatibility with existing handsets based on older standards. Verizon Wireless, has already said that it will support LTE as its 4G technology of choice, abandoning its current CDMA based network.

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